As this issue was going to press, we received the sad news that Donnie Chiesa had died earlier this month, from complications following a stomach operation. He was 52. Anybody in the Valley who's owned a working turntable has shopped at Tracks in Wax, the record store on Central Avenue that Donnie and his brother Dennis opened in April 1982. Local musicians gravitated to him and the store to bask in his hoarse, nasal laughter, and his encyclopedic knowledge of records and music. If he liked you, he'd put your CD in his shop and play you something you probably had never heard before -- and might not have heard anywhere else. In an age of chain outlets, downloading and buying music online, Donnie and Dennis' shop still embodied a record store as nature intended, one where you come away knowing more than when you went in.
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In lieu of a formal service, there will be a "going away party" for Donnie at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 2, at the Hidden House, 607 West Osborn Road. There will be live music and DJs spinning an eclectic mix of music that Donnie would've insisted on. His brother Dennis says, "He will be missed by a great many people, and by me especially."